Although its origins may have come from a fascination of exotic animals, throughout the years, zoos have constantly evolved and improved beyond their early predecessors; however, it has always involved the process of scientific inquiry. Today’s modern day zoo does not merely exist for entertainment value, even though many guests may initially visit with amusement in mind, most walk away with a greater knowledge of wildlife and the current issues they are facing within our environment. Zoos serve as an ambassador for wildlife through constant protection, rehabilitation, and conservation efforts.
Animal rights activists and organizations have harbored negative views towards zoos for a variety of reasons. They feel that the educational value that a zoo provides to its guests does not adequately compensate for the captivity of wild animals. They propose that funds through financial gain of profits are not used properly towards the animals’ welfare. Additionally, they feel that breeding is done to gain media attention in order to boost ticket sales and profits.
While television documentaries are a good source of education, they simply cannot compete with a one on one interactive educational lesson. Today’s zoos offer a wide array of educational opportunities for not only children but adults as well, onsite, within the classrooms, and via the internet. While it is unfortunate that animals must remain within enclosures, wildlife as a whole benefits from their existence.
Contrary to the opposition’s belief that zoos breed animals to produce cute offspring to boost ticket sales, propagation is vital for the advancement of each individual species. Zoos have played a major part in helping to restore endangered species populations through their reintroduction of endangered species programs. A recent example of such a breeding would be the new edition at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa,...